I found this set of articles particularly informative. As educators in the arts, we are charged with developing the creativity of our students and helping them to express that creativity and create a final product. This, to me, presents a great challenge. How do you teach something that, in many cases, is inherent to students? Also, as teachers, how do we define creativity and understand it in order to teach it or encourage its development? Developing something that is not fully understood is quite difficult. I found this week's articles quite helpful, though in answering these questions.
Maud Hickey answers the latter question in her article, "Creative thinking in Music". As Dr. Hickey suggests: "One way [to understand creativity's] meaning is to examine creativity from four different perspectives: the person, the process, the product, and the place". When these aspects are considered, many lesson plans can evolve as each area can (and should) be targeted individually. For example, when the element of 'process' is considered, lesson plans can be abundant. Dr. Hickey suggests that the process of creating can be broken down into a further four stages (preparation, incubation, verification, and product). I agree with the author in that many children do not inherently understand the process and can become discouraged if they cannot complete it. Even I did not fully understand the creative process on a cognitive level, as I had never thought of it along those lines and I believe that many students feel the same way. How can they be expected, then, to complete the process successfully? I feel now, though, that I can help them with that as this article has spurred cognitive thought about the process and I feel that I can competently design lesson plans along these lines.
I also agree with Dr. Hickey's assessment that "All children have the potential for creative development and an understanding of these traits [that are characteristic of creative people] can help the teacher encourage development". I feel that, even though teaching creativity is a challenge, it is possible--especially once the teachers themselves are cognitively aware of what the creative process involves.
I feel that teaching the creative process is very valuable to students. Creativity in the arts is essential as it helps move the arts from pure repetition of technical skills to true art. I truly feel that time for encouraging, exploring, and honing creativity should be included in any curriculum.